Federal government agencies including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc have denied withholding stamp duty revenues to the tune of about N20 trillion.
At a House of Representatives hearing on Wednesday, the agencies — all involved in the collection of the duties — only provided details of the revenues gotten from 2016, which they said were collected when the charges on electronic transaction began.
Stamp duty is the tax placed on legal documents, usually in the transfer of assets or property.
While the CBN said the total stamp duty revenue since January 2016 stands at N35.2 billion, the NIBSS said it had recorded a total of N30 billion as the revenue since January 2017 when it was involved in the collection process.
Leaks.ng, a collation of media houses, had reported that the agencies refused to disclose details of the stamp duty revenue whose status has been shrouded in secrecy over the years.
Following the report, the lower legislative chamber set up an ad hoc committee on “the remittance of trillions of naira stamp duties to the federation account”.
During the committee’s investigative hearing in Abuja, Abubakar Kure, CBN acting director of banking services, said the revenue which he tagged at N35, 240, 916, 338.54 has not been remitted to the federation account.
Mr Kure said the apex bank still has the stamp duty revenue in its custody pending the decision of the Supreme Court on the legality of the collection.
He, however, admitted that the apex bank could not confirm if there are outstanding funds from the stamp duties yet to be remitted by commercial banks.
“What we are saying is, the matter is at the Supreme Court, and it will go either way. So if you share the money among the tiers of government and the court says “return the money”, what will now be done?” he asked